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Change is inevitable. You cannot control it or even deflect it. You can manipulate which kinds of change influence you, to some extent. You also have considerable control over how you prepare for and react to those events. Still, you do not have the ability to outright prevent change. If you do, there is really no reason for you to be reading this, or any other article… at least none of which I can conceive.
Waterfall treats change as a liability. What do we do with liabilities? We try to minimize them… to control them and to prevent them from happening or coming into existence. This does not work. It cannot work because it is based on a precept that stands in direct contradiction to the inevitability of change: the notion that we can prevent or minimize something that we understand to be unstoppable, and that we can plan something that we know to be unpredictable out of existence.
Agility and Lean, have a much healthier outlook on change: “if change is inevitable,” they say, “then maybe we should focus on being change-friendly.” They seek to build organizations that can respond to changes in their environment, rather than ones that try to predict or prevent it.
This concept is called “embracing change.” Does that mean we willingly step in front of the bus? No; of course not… it means that we are wary of busses and, when we sense one approaching, we are ready to jump out of the way. Embracing change is figuring out how to work with change, rather than against it.
Introduction to this Series,
Part I: Evolution,
Discussion Board (on Yahoo!),